The New Bud Light Lime Ad: Outrageous? Yes. Classic? Yes.

Picture 5I don’t know what you think about this spot from Bud Light Lime.  All I know is that people are talking about it.  And as an execution, from the casting to the intentionally counter music track, it’s note perfect.  Yes, it’s juvenile.  Yes, maybe it’s kinda tasteless.  But yes, it’s also neatly in synch with the comedy dialogue of the present moment.

Beer advertising is not about rational benefits, nor should it pretend to be.  Beer choices are fundamentally badge choices: “does the product I’m holding in my hand in front of both friends and strangers reflect well on me?”  That’s about as deep as that dialogue goes.  With some people, that could mean an emphasis on ingredients and precious brewing techniques.  But for the vast majority enjoying a social moment out at the bars or hanging with friends, it’s more a statement of personality.

And Bud Light Lime just demonstrated that its personality is young and edgy and funny. You can overthink this ad, but candidly, I don’t think their market will.  I believe this ad will do a lot for a line extension looking for a reason to work into beer drinkers’ notoriously tight-fisted rotation of brands.

So call it what you will–puerile, frat boy, hilarious–I’d say it’s a solid ad in the end.

And for that, I should probably apologize.

By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79

4 thoughts on “The New Bud Light Lime Ad: Outrageous? Yes. Classic? Yes.

  1. RTB says:

    “Rectum? It almost killed him.”

    History and the punch line above prove the ass joke is a solid comedy staple. And I’m sure the BL demographic probably loves the anal sex double entendre of the spot. I don’t have a problem with that. My problem is the spot’s creators proceed to beat the joke to death for 60 loooong seconds. Could you imagine if this were cut as :10 or :15 teaser vignettes that ended with a line like, “Just wait until you get it in the can.” You could then pay it off with a :30 that reveals BL is now in cans. A little dirty intrigue might give the imagination a bigger workout and would probably engage the target in a more meaningful way.

    Is it me, or are the individual acting performances placed in decreasing order of effectiveness? The best is the woman up front, mostly because she keeps her performance small and knowing, which plays well with her Ivory girl face. (So well, in fact, that Dennis featured her photo in his blog.) On the other hand, I couldn’t wait for the golfer to get off the screen.

    This spot showcases the heightened personalities brands can take on in the interactive space. To the best of my knowledge, this spot has yet to appear on TV. I would be surprised if any big network censors would let it on. But the Wild West-like freedom of the web can allow brands like beers to really enhance their personalities in ways heretofore unavailable.

    And, as a friend of mine once said, “Your brand is whatever Google says it is.”

  2. george says:

    Dennis, I agree that this commercial is funny. (I also agree that it’s a bit too long.) I guess what makes me sad is that our world and what now passes as acceptable has become so base and our standards have become so debased.

    I’ve always felt there was more drama and comedy potential in the unsaid than in the said. Why I think Preston Sturges was better than John Hughes. But, I suppose, the lowest common denominator rules today. And there’s no going back.

    BTW, eight years ago I did an IBM spot where we talked about “back-end infrastructure” and kept saying “backend” throughout the spot as if that were prurient. The client wouldn’t let us air it.

  3. Mike says:

    dennis, I couldn’t agree more – and, yeah, I feel kind of bad about that.

    Comedy like this is self-selecting. There are precious few people who were drinking Bud Light Lime and will now refuse because of a silly commercial. There are a whole lot more who weren’t and just might now because they were rewarded with a guffaw or two.

    And in the middle, who knows how many people really don’t care?

    Net: It’s a gamble I would certainly take.

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